Finally: Some Fresh Faces in American Politics

IT’S CLEAR THAT AMERICAN VOTERS want fresh faces — the prospect of a Joe Biden vs. Donald Trump campaign next year has been a massive turn-off. Suddenly there are some new players; we’ll focus on three this morning.

1. THE NEW STAR in Washington is Mike Johnson, 51. The Louisiana conservative is a fascinating new player, well liked within all factions of the GOP. The issue for the new House Speaker is whether he will continue to embrace the far-right or move to the center; in any event, his low-keyed tone makes Johnson intriguing.

With the House moving toward younger candidates, next comes the Senate — led by Chuck Schumer, 72, and the increasingly frail Mitch McConnell, 81.

2. REP. DEAN PHILLIPS, a moderate Democrat from Minnesota, is expected to announce today that he’s running for president. Phillips has the financial resources to last well into the primary season next year. He professes support for Joe Biden, who’s about to turn 81, but Phillips, 54, bluntly says it’s time for a younger president — and Democratic voters agree.

3. NIKKI HALEY, THE SUMMER SURPRISE: Haley has moved into second place in the Republican nominating sweepstakes — as the former runner-up, Ron DeSantis, plummeted this past summer. Haley is 51 and DeSantis is 45. At the least, Haley seems destined to be on the 2024 ticket as the vice presidential nominee.

THE DIVERSITY OF AMERICA: Phillips is Jewish, the Johnsons have adopted a Black son, and Haley is an Indian-American, a mélange that would have been unthinkable a couple of decades ago.

WE STILL THINK THE 2024 ELECTION will be between Biden and Trump, assuming neither have health issues. If they do, there will be an avalanche of candidates running next year. But for now, most of these younger aspirants are preparing in the 2028 campaign, when the the new generation finally will take power.

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